Funeral payment plans used to be an option for consumers pay funeral expenses that did not fund pre-need, had limited life insurance, cash or credit card balances. The days of funeral homes offering in house payment plans have gone away with the sales of bronze and copper caskets. Why?
Administering the process of billing, collecting and accounting is a colossal waste for the actual return of the revenue sought after. Another reason is the age old “when the tears dry up so does the checkbook” theory of consumers failing to pay for funeral expenses over time. Finally, the credit worthiness of consumers has dramatically shifted in a downward spiral due to continuing unemployment, falling home value and of course other negative economic pressures.
But these folks are dying too and funeral home owners are struggling to maintain a balance between offering services/products that family’s desire with getting paid for services rendered. This dilemma is not new and I have written several posts At Need Payment Plans, Don’t Ask the Kids to Pay, along with Is it About Honoring the Life or Paying the Bill? This “underbelly issue” of the funeral home business is not being addressed and is one that will continue to grow as fast as the shift from burial to cremation.
Think I’m wrong about this? Take a look at all of this years (2015) convention and meetings. How many seminars were presented that shared how to deal with consumers that are financially struggling, how to bridge the gap between wants of families vs. revenue generation, or cash flow solutions for at need funerals? Nope, we still are listening to the soothsayers and pundits blithering about “charge more/show more value,” “how to market your funeral home (with no measurable results),” along with other subjects that are basically repackaged from the last seminar offering nothing remotely important to serving the broke ass consumer (I threw that in just to see if anyone reads this far down and paying attention).
Over the coming weeks I’m going to further delve into this particular subject and offer solutions. At this very time I am working with a team of lending experts and organizations to create new a suite of funeral payment plans that will be offered by Funeral Pay Plan with several choices of options that funeral directors may choose based on their particular needs.
The new roll-out will be in January and will include everything from offering payment plans to excellent credit consumers, poor credit rated consumers, billing opportunities to accounts receivable collection. If you know me, it’s not just talking, it’s all about execution. The Funeral Commander is “getting it done” for funeral payment plans. From the command post through the smoke of a fat maduro cigar, Cheers y’all! #thefuneralcommander